Scentcerae and Partner hiking the the Grand Canyon from rim to rim – May 2021.
Ecolimpet: Why did you start Scentcerae and what considerations pushed you to create your business?
Sherae –Owner/Founder of Scentcerae: Have you ever found the perfect skincare product that works for you but the ingredients are full of harmful chemicals that trigger a reaction? You aren’t sure what the trigger is so, you buy another product with more natural and organic ingredients only it is packaged in plastic that you know will be around long after you’re gone?
This is what happened to me and is the reason why I started Scentcerae. I found living as an expat, I had even fewer choices. With as much traveling as I did, I needed to bring my own shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, and toothbrush with me. It needed to be as compact as I could make it and with as little waste as possible.
What I had created worked so well for me, my family, and my close friends that when I returned back home to the States, I opened an Etsy shop first, then a website, a direct wholesale, and my business grew from there.
Ecolimpet: What have been some of your biggest challenges in creating your minimal waste business?
Sherae: Sourcing sustainable ingredients and packaging was the biggest challenge when starting this business. My goal has always been to have as minimal waste as possible. Minimal waste packaging has a number of challenges though because it bio-degrades, meaning the shelf life is shorter, stability testing and challenge testing often takes longer, and there are so many life-cycle considerations to make when it comes to formulating, sourcing eco-friendly containers, and even labeling. It is an incredibly worthwhile challenge.
Ecolimpet: What is your favorite product that you make?
Sherae: Everything Hurts natural muscle rub was my first product that I learned to formulate and is still my best seller so, of course it is a favorite. However, I’m most proud of the Hair Rocks solid shampoo because I make the molds myself from actual rocks I have collected from my travels and I think it’s super cool to wash hair with a rock that is 100% zero waste.
Ecolimpet: If you could do anything for a day, what would you do?
Sherae: One “whole” day? Hmmm, I can make it all the way across the Grand Canyon in one day. I’ve been across the canyon 4 times now and I get to hike it again this fall. I will never be tired of the views in that canyon. I hike with family, friends, and have even hiked with complete strangers who became fast friends.
Ecolimpet: What advice or suggestions would you have for people trying to limit their waste and be more environmentally conscious?
Sherae: As consumers, we buy a lot more than we need and we waste more than we should. Making smarter choices in our purchasing habits is a good way to limit waste. Using a bathroom as an example, if we place a quart jar on the counter rather than using a trash can you can see how fast it fills up with just bathroom products- old makeup, cotton swaps, tissues, razor heads, empty bottles of shampoo, lotions, toothpaste, etc. Our goal should be to have as little waste as possible. That experiment is a great one to make us more aware of what products we can replace, what will take up less space, and how we can generate the smallest amount of waste! Now, try that in each room of the house!
Ecolimpet: As a business, how do you follow this mantra?
Sherae: As a business, we source reusable, recyclable, and sustainable materials directly from reliable, economically conscious suppliers and take care to package our products with renewable and compostable materials. So much attention to detail, even our labels are even certified compostable.
Ecolimpet: As a mom and in your personal life, how do you follow this?
Sherae: As a mom, I believe in leading by example rather than imposing my views. I don’t judge others in their decisions and I know the changes that need to be made will not happen in my lifetime, but I do hope to be able to establish new habits for our next generation.